Savage Love

Gasoline and the Match

Comments

101
I've read a lot of books and articles from the seduction community, and at its best, it's about personal growth, facing your fears, becoming a better person, and learning how to relate to people more skillfully.

I've read some of R. Don Steele's books, and though there is some emphasis on personal growth, his books are among the most angry, resentful, and misogynistic of anything in the seduction community. They're filled with angry, negative generalizations about women and bizarre social darwinist political rants. He's essentially all the worst stereotypes of pickup artists realized. Don't judge us by R. Don Steele, the worst face of it.
102
66: Testosterone is a regulated substance, and the medical treatment of transpeople is highly regulated. Most transpeople receive doses far LESS than that of the typical cisperson, especially when just starting treatment. While self-medication is possible [though illegal for ftm's], it's more likely that he had received a dose less than or average to an adult male's testosterone production.
Further, a female-identified woman taking testosterone for increased sexual response might, not viewing herself as transmasculine, ignore or decline to investigate dosage information given about ftM HRT process. She might double or triple the dosage because she might also figure that, being designed "for men", the dosage is much less because it's to work with their naturally-occurring hormones.

While I'm not arguing the "women are sexually passive/men are sexually aggressive" I'm just debating your assumption that only outside-of-normal testosterone levels would increase sexual response or aggressiveness.

76/88: The writer didn't say "one-night stands", and while "lover" is ambiguous, it does include and accurately describe anyone you're in a relationship with. To criticize a one-word answer [which was in-format and generally sound advice] because oh~my~god! I don't have to tell a one-night stand anything, is kinda shallow.
103
Maybe I have a warped view of sex. But I will say that sex ... for men, it is kind of like food. If you don't get it after a while, you really do become soulless. I made many many many concessions to get laid everyonce in a while. I worked in a research lab where a lot of men were just rather socially unpowerful and soulless ... many of the people I worked with hadn't hadn't even KISSED a girl for grad school, or even several decades.

If that's not traumatizing, I don't know what is ... and it really does warp your sense of reality. It's like a lot of these guys felt invisible to the world around them. Sometimes, I could see them snap like a Sodini if they took their analytical mind, played out the formula, and felt entitled to the results.

Yeah ... I can see a number of the guys I worked with read Steele's book and snap.

And prostitutes ... well, if it fit into the grad student budget, well duh. You don't pay the woman for sex, you pay them to go away. You don't have to lie about expectations, goals, desires etc. etc. You can be yourself, plus a wad of cash, and she is not paid to judge you, and you aren't encouraged to feed her bullshit.

At the time, I was just trying to sustain my soul, and getting fuck out of Oregon and dodge. Creating a lifetime commitment was not in the cards!

I have no disrespect for women, or disrespect for any human being but to quote something from "Chasing Amy", "everone has an agenda."

Even though I may not agree with everyone's agenda, I respect their right to have it, provided they respect mine. (If they ask for my opinion, I will give it.)

But at this stage of my life ... it's just an incomplete puzzle. Where the hell do women fit? You get out of a small town, and everyonce in a while you might meet someone with a complementary agenda ... asks the same question "where the hell do men fit?" And the answer perhaps, neither one of us know, but we are both a little horny right now.

104
NSA mentions that he wants his wife to "get help," but he doesn't mention whether he offered to go to couples therapy together. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but the idea that a sexual problem in a marriage is only one partner's problem/fault/responsibility is one I don't care for.

And the wife's conditions for sex outside the marriage don't sound that unreasonable to me. If it's just about sex, I would have imagined he'd be happy to get it where he could. But it sounds like he's just as unwilling to compromise as he makes Mrs. NSA out to be.

He may not be wrong for feeling let down by his wife, but as my wise old Grandma always said, "Two wrongs don't make a right."

Women's bodies are more susceptible to hormonal fluctuation than men's. Even adding testosterone is never going to be a perfect solution, because our bodies just plain change more often. If there's a different amount of coffee in my cup every day, and you add a dose of cream, the coffee is still going to be stronger on some days than others.
105
@94 I agree that the stigmatization of mental illness, and moreover treatment for mental illness, is a huge problem. I like the analogy of Diabetes. Diabetes is a physical illness that requires constant treatment and monitoring. Some diabetics aren't able, or shouldn't, to do things normal people do : drink, fast, expect a very long life, etc. Same for people with mental problems.

"The only mental illness that increases the risk of violence is drug abuse."

That, however, is patently false. There's a reason that serial killers are typically antisocial narcissistic personalities. Seeing people as objects and not experiencing emotions combined with a wildly distorted sense of self-importance sure as shit increases the risk of violence. Do we need to trot out the videos of little girls calmly describing literally bashing in their toddler brother's skull in a very real and calculated attempt to murder them? Depression increases the risk of self-inflicted violence. The list goes on, which is why treatment is so very, very important.
106
Hey ,this Soldini guy was under surveillance and stopped and questioned by Pittsburgh police detectives for showing a hand grenade to people on a city bus. Exhibiting a classic cry for help he was screaming stop me go ahead heres your chance. Search warrant anybody? not only that consider the female providers constantly under surveilance and getting arrested in Pittsburgh and other cities. Its unlikely that a cute looking working girl is going to pull a Soldini but we have a lot of shootings and wing nuts with guns in WPA. You would think that the heavily armed police would concentrate on the real dangerous people and maybe let the providers alone for the most part its innocent ,but no.
107
There are men out there who think they are entitled to young, perky, slender ass as a birthright.

There are still women out there who don't want sex but are too scared of not being alone to opt out of a partnership.

And yet people still believe that there's a GOOOOOOOOD up there smiling down on them?

Oooookay. *twirls finger around ear*
108
To those who have said a transperson isn't obligated to disclose their status to people they're having sex with: I don't understand how a post-op transperson can act surprised or indignant that sex partners would have a right to know or even care about the nature of their sex organs. If the shape of your own genitals were important enough to you to have them surgically altered (or even if you didn't have them altered but you prefer a certain brand of genital yourself, or if you've just heard about the fact that a significant majority of people do prefer one sort to another), I would think it'd be easy to accept that the nature of your genitals would probably be important to your potential sex partners, too. Our technology is not so good that there is zero discernible difference between a post-op FtM and a cis male. If there were no real differences, then sure: your former physical gender would become irrelevant. That future, in fact, might not be unfathomably far away.

In the meantime, I think everybody has an obligation to tell their sexual partners about *anything* that might surprise, confuse, or otherwise put off a reasonable person once those two people find themselves naked: highly visible scarring, the fact that one leg is a prosthetic, a tendency to pass out at orgasm... whatever. It's common courtesy to do your best to avoid putting the other person in a potentially very awkward position or making them feel manipulated. You're doing yourself a favor, too, if you give them a chance to either square with the idea of fucking someone with a different body, or to bail out if they know it's not something they want to go ahead with--which of course they aren't obligated to do. To me at least, giving a preemptive heads-up would seem like a better idea than losing potential "yes pleases!" to shock, confusion, or unsexy hesitation; or discovering a "hell no!" only after they've put their face in my crotch. Better PR, too.
109
Here here, Dan.
110
@100 I didn't say making it legal would automatically make it safe. I said it could be MADE safe. There would be avenues to ALLOW for safety, which I thought I made clear. I'm not stupid enough to think legislation stating "OH YEAH YOU CAN GO GET PAID FOR SEX NOW WITHOUT FEAR OF PROSECUTION" would make ANY crime stop, nor would it help women at all. The main problem obviously is not within the government. It would, however, provide footing for the government to help these women instead of neglecting them entirely. I realize that women aren't protected adequately by the law. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be making efforts to improve anyone's environment. It's not like we have a finite amount of problems we can try and tackle within trying to make better the lives of women. I assure you it's entirely possible to still have the lives of ALL WOMEN in mind, even when you are only trying to improve the life of one (or in this case, a group). I recognize we do not have adequate resources. That's why I didn't start attacking the government. I don't think it'd save the world, or save every woman in the profession. I do think, though, that bettering even one woman's life is worth it.

I'm not sure why you feel the need to say I haven't studied US law because of a personal opinion, though. But since you're so keen to wave some kind of superiority complex on the internet, I have studied sex worker issues. Extensively. I'm getting my degree in forensic/medical anthropology with a focus in women's health/issues at Stanford. I'm well-acquainted with it, and I'm not sure exactly how that should make my opinion more or less valid.
111
Yes, those tricksy trannies are always trying to Crying Game the unsuspecting non-trans population.

Dan, you never hesitate an opportunity to put us genderfreaks back in our proper place. Thank you so very much for your reminders, every once in a while, that you (and by proxy the gay community of the universe) are squicked and angry that some hottie you might check out in male-born-male space might actually be not a hottie at all, but (gasp) a person with a VAGINA. How awful!
112
Hey "God Hates You" - news flash - GOD HATES YOU, NOT SAVAGE!!!
113
You know, Soldini has given bitter virgins like me a bad rap. I swear, we're not ALL homicidal! Some of us choose to do the mature thing, and bury our feelings.
114
I don't think this Steel guy is part of the seduction community. Just because he wrote abook, does not make him a part of, or a respected teacher in the community. Most PU community guys are in their twenties anyway. As for puas tricking women, well, if you can act in a way that makes women want to have sex or date you, what is the difference between that and a guy who does it naturally?

I don't know if this guy is nuts or not. But for men in our culture, we learn that the only way we can have intimacy and touch is with a woman. So if a guy can not get sex and intimacy, then he is out of luck. women don't have that problem as they can reach out to everyone around them. Younger guys are doing better in that regard too. But imagine a life without physical and emotional intimacy. Pretty sad.

Men can't help it if they like young hot women. the smart ones avoid the cultural programming that tells them that is the only thing that is important. But it is hard to overcome millions of dollars worth of media, advertising, etc and lots of cultural programming. But no one said this guy felt he deserved a young hottie. I happen to like them, and pursue them when I can. What is so wrong with that? this guy is kind of a victim of our culture. Of course, what he did was far more victimizing.

As for trannies, if you can fool me, I don't care. Isn't this kind of moot point. How many trannies can actually fool a guy to the point that he does not have his suspicions. of course, if you have a penis, then you definitely have to tell me first, or i will be quite mad.
115
I feel for NSA, but I think there may be more to the story he is not telling. Recently, my husband of 10 year left to do his own thing (basically I would not accept his constant cheating). I am sure he would describe me in the same way that NSA did his wife, but what he would be leaving out is how his porn addiction and every other stupid hobby he got into (Yugi-Oh cards, Playstation games, his motorcycle, PC games, Warhammer, the list goes on and on) became more important than being intimate or spending any real time with me. When we would have sex, it felt as he was simply using me as a live masturbation device. It was never about me. He only pleased me because if he did not, it was a hit to his ego. He would leave out that he was verbally and emotionally abusive to me and our kids, that he got me hooked on marijuana for years, that I could never do anything right to his satisfaction, and that he was a disgusting slob that literally washed the dishes only one time during the whole time we were together.

I don't think cheating is warranted in any relationship. If you want out, then have the balls to say so and get out...period!
116
#49 Very astute comment regarding Sodini and Dan's response. Kudos to you!

When I first heard of it, Sodini's rampage reminded me of of the Charles Roberts' hostage taking/murder of those Amish girls in Pensylvania in Oct 2006.

Not much was revealed about Roberts' life afterwards for some reason. We do know that his purported reason for the hostage taking: that he'd abused some young relatives at age 12" was not true.

I've always suspected that the truth was that Roberts had been raped when 12 and that the person who'd abused him had probably died shortly before Roberts went on his rampage. The death left him with the reality of never getting back at his abuser. However, since he committed suicide, I guess nobody cared to look further into his reasons.

Further revelations about Sodini seem to indicate he was yet another mentally disturbed man who blamed women for his unhappy life. But it's worth considering why so many men externalize their violence onto females? Even men who grow up with abusive fathers seem to end up blaming poor old Mom, and by extension, all women. It's as if they simply cannot blame anybody who looks like themselves.

This I don't get.

117
#86 Trix
Couldn't see where anyone else provided the statistical citation you asked for regarding @orangecrayons' saying the average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution in the US is 12-14.

Here you go:http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/prostitution.html
118
Dan, you missed the boat on the first one. Why does a post-op transgendered person have an obligation to tell his or her prospective lover that he or she was born in the wrong body?

Excellent on the rest of the column, though.
119
People keep misreading the first question. It doesn't say one-night-stands, 'prospective' lovers, random drunk hookups, or any of those other things people keep saying have no responsibility to disclose. It says 'lovers'.

This is an issue of honesty with lovers, not with strangers.

As for the right answer? No idea. I THINK I'd be okay with finding out this detail about a lover, but I've never been faced with it. Maybe lots of post-ops have serious trouble with mistreatment and abandonment after they tell their lovers. Maybe there's some other good reason.

I know I'd feel hurt if I found out a lover had been hiding this kind of information from me.
120
To God Hates You:
I am a TRUE BELIEVER in Dialogue. Ooops! I best explain what it is that "Dialogue" actually is. It requires a Healthy Adult Mode way of being. Damnation of Dan Savage, based on his expertise, which you experience as utterly disagreeable, does seem to be quite cemented. Cemented beliefs and opinions will crumble under the brilliant light trying to enter the world as we know it. I would like to share current REVELATIONS with you: "brain scans" point specifically to political and religious beliefs, and convictions, being held by our primitive majority, firmly, in the most primitive part of the brain, rather than in the executive reasoning center, which is capable of wisdom. Failure to tap into our wisdom, and follow it, rather than primitive drives and convictions, will be our undoing. You, my dear, are undone. While I wise to continue to be a compassionate soul on Mother Earth, your critical, punitive, and judgmental rant, against a person with so many wonderful qualities, makes it rather difficult to do so. While I am sure you could escalate this with Bible quotes to affirm your position, the majority of us are fully aware that your cemented position is coming from the most primitive part of your brain. Hopefully, the light that is coming, will afford you a shift to your higher reasoning center, which is the part of the brain that was created by your God.
121
@111

Newsflash: There are people in the world who actually want to carry on their bloodlines and there are people in the world who'd rather have their throats slit than put any part of their bodies anywhere near opposite-sexed genitalia. IMO, Dan's advice was on the money. It's better to have your heart broken than to deal with the rage-filled/despairing look in someone's eyes as he (or she) learns that they'll never be able to have their own children, or learns that the person of their dreams has the equipment of their nightmares. You may have always felt like a boy, you may have acted like a boy since kindergarten, you may even be able to think like a boy, but your prosthetis (at this moment in time) will never work as naturally as a man. Or, if you're a woman, your surgically created vagina will never be able to perform it's primary function-transmitting semen to the uterus to facilitate the creation of life.

Some people can deal with that, true. Some people have decided not to have children, some people are pansexual and can find something to love about anyone, some people are emotionally fluid and some people just aren't that choosy. But, sad to say, the majority of the people that you will meet in life are "none of the above". For all of a straight man's latent/active/potential whoredom, there's always the desire or interest in making children of his own with the women who he professes to love. For all of a straight woman's sluttiness/professionalism/etc., the same desire or interest to pass on her genes with a man who she professes to love. A transsexual can serve as an emotional anchor, an intellectual anchor and as a sexual anchor, but they *can't make fucking babies* without outside help. And that is something that all of the technology in the world has yet to solve. So, once again, I stand by Dan's comment.
122
Where does this obligation to tell your lovers about your sex-change operation come from? Do lovers have a right to know about everything that's happened to your bits? Do they have a right to know you've your breasts augmented, your hymen surgically removed, your vagina tightened up, your vas deferens cut? (The last, yes, if they want to have children with you.)

Or is it like the obligation to tell your lovers that one of your grandparents was African-American, because some people would be horrified to learn that they were fucking a quadroon?

If so, it's an "obligation" that never existed. There's no obligation to cater to anyone's bigotry.

@121: Nice try, but the question was not "do barren/sterile people have an obligation to tell their lovers they can't have children."
123
#117, #86, et al --

I read the DOJ link provided, and indeed the document there claims: "The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14."

As evidence for this, the document cites a research paper called the "Estes Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children," available at http://www.sp2.upenn.edu/~restes/CSEC_Fi… (note the link from the DOJ page is broken).

I read the relevant sections of the Estes Report. The paper is quite sobering. However, it's clear that the Estes Report does *not* say that the average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14, as the DOJ citation implies. What it does say is that the average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14 *for the sample they surveyed*. And how do the authors describe that sample?

"Every effort was made to identify at least the modal characteristics of sexually exploited children and youth. Inasmuch as it was not possible for us to undertake a complete census of all such children across the nation, we depended, instead, on encounter data with sexually exploited youth provided to us by various telephone hotlines serving runaway and homeless youth, youth outreach programs, youth drop-in centers, youth-focused street health clinics as well as shelters serving runaway and homeless youth."

In other words, the source material is concerned primarily with child prostitutes; the figure given is for the average age that *child prostitutes* first become victims. The sample explicitly does not include any adult sex workers! It seems clear that, if one is going to claim that the average female sex worker in the US began that work at age 13, the Estes Report is not going to do much to support that.
124
#117, #86, et al --

I read the DOJ link provided, and indeed the document there claims: "The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14."

As evidence for this, the document cites a research paper called the "Estes Report on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children," available at http://www.sp2.upenn.edu/~restes/CSEC_Fi… (note the link from the DOJ page is broken).

I read the relevant sections of the Estes Report. The paper is quite sobering. However, it's clear that the Estes Report does *not* say that the average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14, as the DOJ citation implies. What it does say is that the average age of entry into prostitution is 12-14 *for the sample they surveyed*. And how do the authors describe that sample?

"Every effort was made to identify at least the modal characteristics of sexually exploited children and youth. Inasmuch as it was not possible for us to undertake a complete census of all such children across the nation, we depended, instead, on encounter data with sexually exploited youth provided to us by various telephone hotlines serving runaway and homeless youth, youth outreach programs, youth drop-in centers, youth-focused street health clinics as well as shelters serving runaway and homeless youth."

In other words, the source material is concerned primarily with child prostitutes; the figure given is for the average age that *child prostitutes* first become victims. The sample explicitly does not include any adult sex workers! It seems clear that, if one is going to claim that the average female sex worker in the US began that work at age 13, the Estes Report is not going to do much to support that.
125
"But I will say that sex ... for men, it is kind of like food. If you don't get it after a while, you really do become soulless. I made many many many concessions to get laid everyonce in a while. I worked in a research lab where a lot of men were just rather socially unpowerful and soulless ... many of the people I worked with hadn't hadn't even KISSED a girl for grad school, or even several decades."

Again... I'm sure many men do feel this way. Why am I sure? Because I know many women do too! And yet somehow, that doesn't seem to go a millimeter in the direction of justifying homicidal rages or treating men like objects and paying them for sex.

#102: You clearly misunderstood my argument. The argument I was making revolves around the fact that men and women have different testosterone RECEPTORS. So its difficult to directly compare levels as if they would have the same affect in women as in men. Its a concept you learn about in some university-level biology.
126
So... we still haven't learned anything from Columbine, VA Tech, or all that Postal worker shit from the late 80's. I'm sure that there are plenty of other like incidents of lonely and depressed individuals detonating publicly. Lonliness begets estrangment and strangness. The individual then becomes more lonely, more distant, and even stranger. It's a cycle. The only way to break it is for someone to reach out to the affected person and show them the value of their own life and thereby the value of other lives. A sex worker may provide temporary relief from physical desires, but will only exacerbate emotional damage when the person becomes resentful that they have to pay for intimacy. Same with therapists. It's easy to call people like George Sodini a sociopath and a sick fuck and dismiss him entirely, it's harder to empathize and provide the humanity that could have defused the ticking bomb inside of him. Which do you think would be more effective?

Preemptively - no, empathizing with Sodini doesn't negate the pain and anguish of those he murdered and injured. In fact, it would have prevented that pain and anguish had it been done early enough.
127
Dan, I agree with your assessment of Sodini, but I don't agree that part of the problem is that the country is "awash with guns." The method Sodini chose to use to exercise his madness is not the issue. If guns did not exist, would Sodini have still found a way to kill women? He could have used a knife to kill just as many women, or a car to kill many more. Don't cloud the issue. If Sodini had more reasonable expectations regarding a potential mate, he could have found one.
128
@115: sounds like your husband was an asshole. I have to say, I am addicted to pleasing people. My chief relationship aim is to set aside time to do nice things for the other person, or have them treat me, from a romantic dinner at home on through to the orgasms. THEIR concept of what fun is, THEIR choice to treat or be treated, I just want the eagerness. Recently, it's been YEARS of debate and negotiation just to have sex, which is an afterthought, not the nice set up aspect i crave, which we've NEVER done outside of holidays or birthdays. I used to have a never cheat conception of relationships, but once the house, the family, the rest of the lives are intertwined, and everything else is going great... well, cheat your partner out of the sex (and more importantly intimacy and expression of love they crave and beg for) and expect to be cheated on yourself.
129
@127: Mass murder with a knife or a car? C'mon, let's get real -- those are not efficient tools for killing a lot of people at once (which was clearly Sodini's intent). You might say that a grenade or a bomb would've done the trick, but of course those are subject to arms control too.

@116: We don't know why sociopaths often project sexual violence against females, but I suspect it has more to do with mother-child relationships than with misogyny. Sociopaths are often enraged at a world from which they feel "cut off", and the joys and pleasures of which are essentially denied to them because of their neurochemistry or psychological structure. When you're a baby, your mother is essentially your world, and on top of that many sociopaths blame their mothers for their condition -- not always incorrectly, IMHO. So I think a lot of psychopathic sexual violence is, essentially, aggression against oneself and one's mother.

Of course, the other thing is that many people will interpret violence against women as inherently gendered/sexist, when it's really just about power vs. powerlessness. In other words, a bad thing that happens to a man is seen as generic violence, but a bad thing that happens to a woman is seen as a manifestation of patriarchy or sexism. We don't say that a psychopath who kills his childhood playmate, or his adult roommate, is doing it because he hates men. In the case of Sodini, his ostensible motivations are upfront, but I think the underlying impulse has more to do with his sociopathy than his sexism. Most people just wouldn't care as much if he killed a classroom full of men -- and perhaps that points up our own collective sexism, since we tend to see women as more innocent, and more worthy of protection, than men are.
130
@115: "he got me hooked on marijuana for years"? WTF. Marijuana isn't heroin, or even alcohol. If you keep smoking it "for years", that's 100% on you, and nobody else's fault. I agree that there are two sides to every story, and that the other side often goes untold -- but that only makes me notice all the more that you didn't say anything about what you did or didn't do to contribute to the demise of your marriage.
131
@124 Wow. Thanks!

I was going to do that research but then thought that I should go back to trying to write my thesis, which I was trying to avoid by reading this column and all of the responses.

So, I have two questions for you, fp:

a) when is the specificity of knowledge enough to prove something? Is the point now proven, now that you have read and analyzed the Estes report, or is it still in some kind of limbo, from which another person (with more drive to find facts or who already has facts on hand by virtue of being a researching social scientist or geographer or something) could resurrect or differently prove it?

b)(much more important question to me)Will a majority of people be influenced to reconsider their own opinions if your points are well-reasoned, accurate, fact-based, logical and ever more specific? Is this even a method of social discourse that works?

gosh. I'm really, really, really tired of thinking.
132
walwah ... the same is true for women ... they do become soulless and bitter too.

But I think this one is a little differrent, I don't quite the see the gender symmetry.

I do concede though, the biggest mind fuck of social expectations is placed on women. Their forced god damn marriage expectations will be the death of us all. (Not all women ... but you get the gist)

But it's so bizzare. Reasonably above attractive socially competent men more often than you would like to believe DON'T get laid ... it's a mystery.
133
I wonder how many people here actually read the Sodini blog all the way through. He certainly did not seem to be a Sociopath - he expressed lots of feelings and very little actual rage. He came across as more hopeless and self-pitying than anything though he didn't show any interest in taking responsibility for his relationships or lack there-of. Still he was fairly articulate and seemed a better prospect than some of my friends' boyfriends. Scary. I am also perpetually single though that doesn't mean I never have sex. I can't imagine viewing my situation the way he viewed his but for someone who was out of his mind - he was eerily normal.
134
@ bearcathk2004, God is a fabrication of the human mind. If there is a god, an almighty creator of the heavens and the earth, and all that walks slithers crawls or swims, then why does he need 10% of my paycheck to get by?? Because christianity is a scam. And more blood has been spilled in the name of god than anything else in the history of man. I can't fathom what kind of god would allow this to happen. And if a god does exist that would allow all the terrible things that christianity has wrought on the world, I for one, want no part of it. There are good people everywhere that do not believe in god, but are doing good things and making the world a better place. It is people like you, who claim some kind of mystical power or strength from the great almighty, that help dupe little old ladies out of their old age pension with their pasive aggresive bullshit dogma. Maybe I am making the world a better place by questioning the sanity of anyone who belives in god. And maybe christians everywhere are causing the demise of the human race, one polite, insincere smile at a time.
135
The Sodini answer was great. But I think the guy whose wife wouldn't have sex with him deserved a longer answer than you gave him. You neglected to give him advice he really wanted just so you could do a "yes" "no" "maybe so" trifecta. The "yes" and the "maybe so" did not deserve longer answers, but the other guy did.
136
WHOAH this is some fucked up shit. i know nothing of transgender, wouldn't even consider it, love fucking my real girl so i dont have an opinion-just a question-GOD WHO?
137
I don't know anyone who calls their one-night stands "lovers". If you're TG, and you're having sex repeatedly (let alone a relationship) with someone who doesn't realize it, and you intentionally withhold that information, you're a lying shithead. You don't like it, and want the world to be accepting and tolerant and love-you-just-the-way-you-are? Too fucking bad. Some people WILL want you just the way you are, but some won't, and they have the right to make that call for themselves, because being TG is a big fucking deal for a variety of patently obvious reasons (none of which map onto race AT ALL), and their right to know outweighs your right to pass. Love and desire earned through deception are betrayals, and right or wrong, people who feel betrayed tend to retaliate. Dan's answer is meant to ensure that there aren't more TGs who share the fate of Gwen Araujo, and though what happened to Gwen is terrible and unjust, intentionally deceiving your lover(s) is just plain wrong.
138
Good grief, why would you want to marry a guy you didn't like the sex with? THAT'S KIND OF ***DUMB***.
139
@138: In the case of one woman I know, she married the guy because she thought he was getting a big inheritance (boy, was she disappointed). So, sometimes it's money/greed. Others don't like sex to begin with, but pretend until marriage, because they don't want to be alone. Others can't be with the man they really love, so they settle because they want kids. Still others are closeted lesbians. All of these things apply more or less equally to men as well.
140
"He came across as more hopeless and self-pitying than anything though he didn't show any interest in taking responsibility for his relationships or lack there-of."

Hopeless, self-pitying women usually deal with their frustrations less violently, like scarfing down a carton of Ben and Jerry's or venting to a friend. Unless they completely lose touch with reality and become psychotic women almost never kill strangers.
141
If hiring a prostitute skeeved him out, there was always the mail-order Russian bride route. Sodini could easily delude himself she really, really was hot for him (rather than a greencard) if he really, really wanted a hot 20-something trophy/fuck-toy. But this wasn't about getting rejected by hot women...or any women. He was a loon. Even if he'd gotten laid, he'd still be a loon. Shallow, selfish, control freak, sociopath. Women sensed it and ran like hell.

142
@131: You're welcome! I am flattered by your further questions.

(a): Nothing was proven, alas; only refuted. What was refuted was that the Estes report shows that the average age for prostitutes' entering that profession is 12-14; this because the sample omits any adults. (It's common sense that if one only interviews minors, *any question at all* will have a lower answer than if adults are also interviewed!) Note that it may yet be the case that prostitutes become so on average at 12-14; it's just that no good reason to think that has been offered. So: limbo it is, until someone runs a well-designed survey with a random sample of sex workers.

(b) I think people adopt opinions for two main reasons: first, to reinforce their personal aspirations and self-images (from both their own and their peers' points of view) and second, to make sense of what their consciences tell them about things. Because of this, I think the most useful social discourse involves drawing out the consequences of people's beliefs. It is ultimately up to every person to decide what to do, intellectually, when it becomes clear that he or she can't in good conscience hold two beliefs, because they contradict one another.
143
@ 71,

"Seduction Community"? Really? Is that why the assholes keep pawing at me until I scream "get your fucking hands off me or I'm calling the cops"? Jesus Effin' Kerist! What is wrong with people? Don't you get it? When somebody looks at you like you've got a bad case of cooties THEY. DON'T. F--KING. WANT. YOU. NEAR. THEM you fucking dip-shits! Get your effin' hands off me or you're gonna lose an effin' finger! I know who I do and do not want touching me and YOU are a Do Not!

Jesus! It's bad enough I have to put up with douche-meisters whipping out that crap Neil Strauss spouted in 'The Game'. No, assholes, "neg theory", is not going to get you in my pants. It's going to make me knee you in the nuts. Put downs and insults have a tendency to do that to people. It makes you look like a passive-aggressive ass-sniffing douche-monkey. If I'm cold and bitchy and distant when you come on to me, it's because I can spot a leg-humper a mile off. You don't care about me, so stop pretending you think I'm interesting/smart/hot/educated. Stop pretending you're interested in what I'm interested in. I can tell you're just trying to score. I know you want a notch in your bedpost. Cut the manipulative crap.
144
NSA: Whenever a man writes in about a sexless marriage I always get the impression that both spouses are locked in a power struggle of which withholding sex is only a small part. Personally I don't think her conditions in themselves were so unreasonable but he doesn't want his wife to be involved in his sex life at all. In a marriage with a genuine if only platonic friendship this might not be so bad but these two refuse to meet each other halfway and have no respect for each other's feelings or needs . That, not the sexlessness, dooms the marriage. It's only a matter of time before he finds a compatible partner who wants him for herself and unless they get to counseling and call a truce they may as well get divorced now.
145
@137: Well of course it was a horrible thing and all, but if you don't tell your partner you're not a real girl, you kind of deserve to get your throat cut, right?

Way to blame the victim.
146
I beg to disagree with the whole "Sodini needed to get laid" solution. Assuming that there is a girl for every boy (or other gender) that Mr. Savage is so often fond of repeating, and assuming that he had found such a person, Mr. Sodini probably would still have wound up doing what he did - only for other reasons. Once one need is satisfied, another crops up. Instead of going berserk at a gym, he would have gone berserk somewhere else. Maybe he didn't get enough respect at work. Maybe he was repeatedy turned down for loans or credit. It's always something with these types. And that's the point. Guys like Sodini cannot be appeased with sex or anything else, and cannot help themselves. Had he been married with kids, they also would have been part of the boodshed.
147
@145 I don't think 137 is trying to say that it's a deserved fate of anybody-- I think they're trying to say that sometimes not telling people makes some people feel betrayed, so they react really poorly and there's ethical concerns with sharing information with someone you're emotionally involved with. I think they just connected the ideas in a way that made it look like that. Could be wrong, tho.
148
@147: Exactly. It's not that you "deserve to get your throat cut", it's that you're raising the odds astronomically of that happening. Araujo sure as hell didn't deserve her fate, but being the victim of a horrible crime doesn't make a person sacrosanct, or magically confer moral perfection on all their past actions. In the real world, many people will freak the fuck out if they find out they slept with someone TG, and all the moralizing 145 can muster isn't going to change that anytime soon. Better alive and pissed-off or lonely, than self-righteous and dead. If questioning the wisdom of deceiving others (especially if it's a bunch of dumbass thugs you're sleeping with) is the same thing as "blaming the victim", then God help us all, because we're fucked.
149
After the lesbian is fucked up for not using finger and dental dams tirade last week, I still find myself wanting to post a cocmment about said topic. Who the hell out there is using finger and dental dams for vaginal fingering and licking?

Thx in advance for following up on this Dan.

150
I'm 56. I have been very fortunate in having quite a bit of experience in life and love, and here's how it looks to me: Though not true for everyone, men and women have very different sex drives, and after forty, for the most part, women can take sex or leave it. Their response to deprivation is very different, too: As time goes on, my experience is that women accommodate very well, and don't really care that much. For men, the need becomes all-pervasive, and if you are married, the resentment builds. You will masturbate, use porn, cheat, but you never feel good about any of it.

It seems to me that the prohibition against prostitution is a union issue, not a moral or safety one. It breaks the monopoly - the strangleold on power that women's control of sex gives them.

For me, I say Legalize Sex Work. There might just be a few less homicides.

Jim
151
>> Someone needed to sit Sodini down .... <<

the only problem, is that sodini was so introverted, that was an impossibility.

all of us cam get into a rut. but sodini moved in & decorated his.
152
Wow lots of comments, hardly worth adding more but after reading so many letters I can say that had Soldini taken the time to care about another human being, to feel compassion rather than lust etc, he might had another option. As it stands, he did not have it to give (the love); what he desperately needed himself.

As for the common thread of she won't have sex, he won't express affection. It's the same dilemna, no compassion, no passion, a strangling bird cannot sing. If all a guy wants is to blow his load then I guess he should pay for it. But he should not confuse a drained walnut with love. And he will not know heaven. Just like that other grumpy religious toad who reads a sex column and then writes to call Dan a pervert. A true christian would have hit close.
Power to the people.
153
@142: Thank you again!!!

I have already learned a great deal from you through this exchange...and I'm a little amazed by that, given that i came here for respite from my own learning.

I will understand if you don't want to write any further about these social matters to an anonymous stranger over the internet at the tail end of a discussion on entirely other(though perhaps not unrelated conversations about what can change a human perspective on bigotry, marriage, bigotry, murder) matters, but if you are willing to share your perspective further, I have a few more questions for you.

First, I appreciate the distinction you've made between proof and refutation and I agree with your logic(or should I say beliefs? ;).

1. What method(s) would you recommend to best draw out the consequences of people's belief systems? Are you inferring to cognitive dissonance in that reply? Would these methods always occur on an individual or personal scale?

2)a)Do you believe that it is possible to create conditions for social cognitive dissonance (and more importantly to me) b)Do you believe that it is ethical to recognize opportunities for creating those conditions and to use them to advance an agenda of any kind?

(background)A recent analysis that I read, called these moments of collective cognitive dissonance(though the book didn't use that term)"threshold moments", some examples they gave were 911, hurricane Katrina, & the recent financial meltdown(you can tell where they live). These "threshold moments" could also be equated with "teachable moments" in a classroom and my comparison of that to teaching is what kind of skeezed me out about the prospect of 'using' those types of moments for social change...

Personally, I am a little confused(or should I say that I have some cognitive dissonance?) about how ethical it is to attempt to coerce masses of people or anyone who is trying to learn anything, into recognizing their own potential cognitive dissonance(which we probably all have at all times), but at the same time, I notice that this is happening more or less on a daily basis, through advertising, art(if anyone looks at it, reads it or goes to see it performed any more) other media,policy and law creation.

Thanks again for the manner in which you have helped me to refine my perspective so far...

lily
154
I don't know if Sodini was involved in a church, but if he had been I think he could have been directed to a more normal relationship with women. Unfortunately many churches have a very rigid concept of sexual relationships, but one could still recognize that the fundamental concept of Christianity is forgiveness and not purity. Once past that, Sodini could have used church discussion groups to start conversations with women where he would find out about their vulnerabilities and needs and relate to them in an empathic way.
155
I'm really doubtful that seeing sex workers would have prevented Sodini's rampage. Any number of men who have been in a sexual relationship then are dumped have gotten violent. Along with sex, most of us want some sense of being accepted (adored and desired is better, but acceptance will do)and a pay for sex liason would not provide this.
156
I'm in a situation somewhat similar to NSA. I love my wife and want a physical relationship with her, but it's become clear over the 10 years of our marriage that she doesn't really want such a relationship with me. She told me, years ago, to get sex outside of the marriage, but recanted that permission a few months later. I wouldn't have taken her up on it anyway. I don't want a hole. I want a loving relationship with someone who wants to make love with me. Like NSA, I have a child with my wife and I know that -- if caught -- I would not have access to my child as I do now. I would caution NSA or any man against accepting his wife's word that it's okay to go outside of the marriage. Although most state's have done away with "fault" when it comes to getting a divorce or with property division, it often come into consideration when child custody is determined. Red flags should be going up... "it's a trap" should be echoing in your head.
If it's time to get out the marriage, do it the honorable way and protect your right to see your kid. Don't make "getting caught" your exit strategy.
157
@111 and @122

Don't feel like Dan is singling out the trannies. Just two weeks ago a testicular cancer survivor wrote to Dan, and Dan's advice was:

"Since having one ball isn't going to place your sex partners at any risk of anything or hamper your sexual performance in any way, I don't think you're obligated to disclose until you get home from the movie or the club and you're rolling around on the couch and making out."

That sounds like reasonable advice to anyone who looks different enough under the hood that his or her sex partner will be surprised. I suspect that includes most transsexuals.

And the letter writers didn't even ask about one-night-stands, he asked about "lovers". Surely your lover is entitled to know important bits about your sexual history, such as that everyone used to think you were a boy (or a girl). I gather that gays usually share their "coming out" stories. This seems like the same sort of thing, only writ larger.
158
This is mostly irrelevant, but interesting: from my psychology/biology courses, I have heard that high testosterone makes people calm, confident, and horny (hooray!). It's low testosterone that's the problem (that and high estrogen, which makes people moody). Low testosterone levels make people insecure and aggressive. It's low testosterone that's found in chimpanzees (and, I'm guessing, humans) that rank low on the social ladder (like Sodini).

So I guess what I'm saying is that your otherwise awesome activist college friend was wrong on two counts.
159
I love all the BS statistics people just crap out. 75% of all rapists are in relationships--how would you know? I thought something like 80% of all rapes go unreported? Wouldn't that mean 95% of all rapists are never caught? So how are all rapists interviewed on their relationship status?

Yeah I made up all those statistics. It's really easy to do. Try it yourself; you'll sound more intelligent!

Also can't believe some people think NSA's wife had reasonable demands. BS! After a hard day of work, both job and home, where is he supposed to find the time to find ANY girl? He'll be forced to sluts or whores, because most people are going to want some form of relationship, even if it's just a mildly friendly one. And his wife isn't going to approve of those--what's more, I'm pretty sure she understands that. I think the whole idea was NSA's and she is pulling the same crap as before--she'll just veto anyone he would manage to bring home, if he even could bring home anyone other than a (literal) prostitute.

Sure, it might be partially his fault--probably is. But that doesn't make her actions right or justified, either. I think NSA needs to DTMFA.
160
Also, to all the transgender folks.. what? Seriously?

I live in the deep south, around a lot of angry, repressed, ultra-conservatives. I have no doubt that if you let on about your past, a good portion of the people here would tell you that God hates you and condemn you to an eternity of hell (not to mention their baser insults). I also have no doubt that were they to be surprised by your past after having been deceived, you would receive a severe ass-kicking (should they be lenient and not drag you from the bumper of their pickups).

It's not blaming the victim. It's just not letting you get a free pass for idiocy simply because you're a minority. Life is a series of compromises, not obstinate demands. Most people are smart enough not to leave their nice car unlocked in a bad neighborhood, flash their cash at the airport, yell at the waiter who could spit in their food, or consider Fox News a reliable, unbiased news network. The people who do those things--well, it's unfortunate, we all agree, but we also agree those people are stupid.

Not disclosing something as major as a sex change, knowing the times we live in (and the violent, judgemental people in those times)? That's just stupid.
161
Dan, about the straight guy whose wife won't have sex... sounded just like me. I'm a wife, and a few years back when we had also been married for 9 years, I just could not bring myself to have sex. I was depressed, but didn't really know it because I thought depression only manifested itself like Droopy Dog. I was, shall we say, mostly a functional depressive. Anywho, I too felt really guilty about my husband's deprivation and also told him he had my full permission to see professionals if he so wished. Long story short, he didn't and I did... I went to a therapist, was diagnosed, started Lexapro, and thank goodness, that did the trick. And far from cooling my libido, having the right treatment has given both my husband and myself a new lease on our relationship. It's not easy, but if the husband really feels his wife is depressive, I encourage him to find a way to communicate to her and get her to get help. -DB
162
Dan, have you been stealing my comments or reading my mind about this Sodini nut? You hit the nail on the head...gee, wonder WHY no woman wanted anything to do with him for so many years? Could it be that his history of rejection was due to his underlying instability and not the other way around? That he was simply a sick, selfish, immature asshole who chose to take his frustrations out on innocent victims? Someone who chose to isolate himself and refuse overtures so he could fester in his own anger and plans of vengeance over not bagging that 20 yr old he so desired?

I read so many apologizing for him and his situation and blaming women for his melt-down and it made me sick. Thanks for saying what I've been thinking, as usual.

163
steel balls
164
my room was clean and they knew who I was meeting. I think if NSA didn't want to be a father to his children he WOULD have just divorced his wife, like many people do when they get cheated out of a sex life by a spouse.
165
@67 — Why is he reading Dan's column? Probably sexually repressed type who gets some guilty thrill reading about sexual experiences/questions of others, and likely someone with homoerotic desires whose self-loathing gets projected onto Dan. My God loves Dan and so do I.
166
ah, well....my bestfriend turns her husband down a lot now....because she can. because he's improved from being a complete @sshole who didn't take no for an answer for 20 years, to being mostly just a jerk who actually does.

call it making up for lost time. call it agreeing to stay married for the kids. call it caving to social pressure but with improved self-esteem.

for those who are whining about not getting any, be really sure you deserve it. really sure.

e~

167
@153: Cognitive dissonance might be a term for it, I suppose; I've never really read about the concept outside of pop culture. But the first step is really about getting people to value coherence and consistency in their worldviews. If that's not there, then no discussion can really get anywhere. Luckily, it's not as hard as it might seem (most of the time). In my experience the key is to backtrack to some shared belief, and then start from there. It's a good way to identify exactly what the disagreement is all about. It is difficult to have this kind of back-and-forth with a mass audience. I certainly don't have the knack for it.

It is certainly possible to do things that make people think about, or rethink, their beliefs. (Consider what US civil rights activists did in the 1950s and 60s.) You ask if it is wrong to advance an agenda; why would it be, if you are not being deceptive about it? I don't see how it can be wrong to make arguments or share ideas, even with a mass audience and even in the face of circumstances that invoke the audience's sympathies, provided the discussion is honest and in good faith. (Your use of the word "coerce" is interesting here, as is the list that includes "advertising" and "law" one after the other, as if they are similar in how they induce people to act.)

Since this thread will disappear into archives soon, if you are interested in talking about this further, shoot me an email at agauntpanda AT gee mail dot com.
168
This surely was a busy thread this week! Helgaleena says http://helgaleena.blogspot.com that if Sodini had been reading our books instead he would have known that loving himself comes first, and gives him a perfume that attracts the love of others. We are all mirrors and what we fill our minds with tints the reflections we send out to others when meeting in real life.

Instead he became ever more predatory and desperate, and his fear fed the fear of those he intended to attract. Very sad.
169
@161 You are right that depression can be cured and sometimes it will fix the sex drive. But you know, its really difficult to make some people go to the shrink! I have struggled with my husband who has very low sex drive (in his 40s) asking him to go to sex therapist and try to improve our love life. Then I started reading Dan's column (!!!!), found out about Craig's list, met a few people over couple months and truly enjoyed myself. This was starting a new life for me, being close to 50 years old! A year ago I found a wonderful man who is in the same situation and we enjoy each others company so much! I am still in the family (we have a teenager), still married, still managing to keep it a secret. Its difficult but I gained so much and wouldn't change a thing about my life! See, some people are just enjoying being miserable and mean (@166). It's not worth sacrificing your precious and unique life for them.. Dan, my enormous gratitude to you for being there for me!
170
Sodini was a nut, plain and simple. As a woman, I wouldn't have given him the time of day because just looking at his picture and video gave me the creeps. I can imagine him being unable to converse with any woman without having to resort to the rehearsed baloney he was fed at one of those "Get a Hot Chick" seminars. Of course, that would come off as completely unnatural, a woman would sense that, and get turned off. I prefer young, hot guys myself, and because I feel perfectly natural with them and have many of the same interests in music, film, sports and art, I have no trouble relating to them or attracting them. I'm not trying to be some desperate cougar. Some things you just can't be taught, and poor Sodini never had the social skills he needed to succeed in life. He apparently hated everybody but expected to find love. The mail-order bride route might have been an option for him, but he probably would have ended up unhappy with that as well. The person he should have been seeking a relationship with was a psychiatrist.
171
Sodini seemt to have a really big Madonna/Whore complex. He didn't just want a younger woman, he seemed to want a living breathing playboy model. Or a college student. There was one incident where he saw his neighboor embracing a young woman and wrote in his blog that college students are such sluts and why couldn't get find one to bang him. And it turns out the young woman was the neighboor's daughter.
172
160: et. al.

Being trans does not = "deceive."

You obviously have no clue about what being transgender really is. . . but you're lousy with bigotry. Congratulations.

I don't care what Dan's answer was to a short and probably more of a hypothetical question than anyone would care to admit.

Get a clue, than get an opinion.

173
@ 160:

So tell me #160. . . since you use the analogies (you do know what the word "analogy" means, right?) like not keeping your car locked or flashing their cash at an airport are people simply asking for it. . . and deserve what happens to them. . . really?

okay.

So. . . wanna' go ahead and add to the list of your "a-nal-o-gies" that a woman dressed provocatively (we'll assume by your standards) and say. . . for the record, right here in the comments section of the SLOG, that you believe she was being stupid for dressing that way and derves to be assaulted / raped / beaten / murdered for deceiving those wonderful men who assume she wants to have sex with them because her skirt is short?

Wanna' say it?

No?

Why not?

What's the difference?

Oh yeah, because violent crime against women isn't okay. . .

. . .But violent crime against a trans women is, because you are a bigot and assume everyone else is to.

Eff. You.
174
@56: That is ef-ing hilarious and true!

To everyone pontificating about the sources of Sodini's actions/state of mind, like Chris Rock said: Whatever happened to crazy?!
175
@66

You said:

"The issue here is not that we're denying men feel intense desires, as you seem to think. It is actually just saying that some men feel intense sexual desires near-constantly, but so do many women! It is not about what is felt, but how it is managed."

I say: Right spot on! MANAGEMENT is exactly the issue.
176
I'm guy in my mid 30's and have dated/slept with 3 women in their early 20's over the past 6 months. I'm fairly good looking, make reasonable money, and live in a college town chock full of fantastic looking 20 somethings. The conversation is not always brilliant but the sex is, well??
177
@131:

Glad to know I am not the only one avoiding work on the dissertation by reading Savage Love comments...

I agree that person writing to dispute Estes Report is just splitting hairs...ignore them
178
I'm surprised no one responded at all to the comments about rape being more about power than sex. I will agree that it may be innacurate to say "rape is not about sex, its about power" but not in principal. Of course sex is a part of it. But the minute it becomes about taking it,through beatings, forcing, drugging, killing, whatever, then the balance shifts to power. The statements seem to reflect the old " if its inevitable just lay back and enjoy it" attitude that implies that somewhere underneath there is pleasure for the woman, or victim of whatever gender, in it. And saying that while some elderly people are raped, it is mostly young, fertile aged women feels like a faux statistic which is thrown out for effect but doesn't really prove the point.
179
@90

Is that you, baby bash?

NSA had the right idea, i agree!
180
To the idiots claiming transfolk "deceive" those poor, innocent cisfolk,

How stupid do you think we are? Did it never occur to you that we're told from the very beginning about how we're going to die horribly, how everyone hates us, how we can never be "normal" because surgery isn't perfect? This meme about how we're just trying to trick everyone into having sex with us assumes that we're all idiots without a shred of common sense or caution.

Concerning Dan's reply: OH HELL NO. "Lovers" is a vague word that, despite all the protests here to the contrary, can apply to one night stands. And "obligation"? What in the blue fuck is that supposed to me? That we have a duty to protect the innocent from our hideously mutilated genitals so their sense of self isn't bruised? Boo-fucking-hoo. It's hilarious how you gay men here quake at the idea of fucking a guy with a vag. In case you didn't realize it, everyone's anus looks the same. If you're that threatened by pussy, the problem is yours, not the trans man's. You could have used this column to go into the issues surrounding disclosure - how it affects relationships, how disclosing =/= safety, how we're held to an impossible standard by the rest of the world, etc. But no. No, you just wrote "Yes." Like it's self-evident that we're freaks.

Transfolk are not a disease. We have no obligation to talk about our medical history because it cannot hurt you. Would a cis woman be obligated to tell partners about any procedures she's undergone? Would a cis man? Because almost nothing is done to transfolk that hasn't been done to cisfolk. Drop the double standard and up the respect, please.
181
If you know or reasonably believe that a person wants to sleep with "x" and you appear to be "x" without actually being "x", then yes, you have tricked that person if you succeed in sleeping with them.

Being trannie isn't just medical history like whether you've had knee surgery - it goes to the heart of your sexual identity, and we are talking about sexual relations here. When you trick people through sexual relations, you can indeed hurt them, although I guess this assumes that the person does eventually learn that you are a trannie. Whether it is legit for you simply not to care about causing this hurt (y'know, in light of all the oppression of trannies) is a separate issue.

It is a bit disingenuous for a person who considered gender so important that they underwent surgery to alter their gender to now take the position that disclosure of their original gender to a lover is somehow not important.

Of course, trannies aren't the only ones who trick people into sleeping with them. Men pretend to be more sensitive and/or successful than they actually are in order to get women to sleep with them, while women pretend to be amused with lame jokes men tell in order to get those men to sleep with them.

Instead of pulling some bogus "privacy/safety/I'm not tricking you" argument, just own the trickiness and know that this is actually something that you share with the rest of us, albeit in a different form.



182
I agree, kungfujew. Trannies can really, really hurt cisgender's peoples' feelings if they are not forthright about disclosure. Trannies, listen up! Here is the most appropriate and most ethical disclosure procedure:

First, BEFORE you go out to a bar, club, party, social event or wherever you might possibly pick someone up, do your best to make sure to showcase your true and original gender. Ftms would do well to wear eyeshadow, rouge, dangly earrings and falsies, and mtfs should wear a giant jock strap with an 8" (minimum length) dildo over their crotch. It would be humane to those you may confuse to also try to look a mess with your hair and wear wrinkled, smelly clothing, to advertise that you are undesirable to most of the population. Think "John Waters movie extra" when you choose your attire. This will help potential lovers to make fully informed decisions about whether or not they want to sleep with you or consider sleeping with you or consider considering sleeping with you.

Second, if somebody actually does show interest, it is best to come equipped with business cards that say something to the effect of "Don't be fooled, I am really teh trans! I'm SO SORRY if you were attracted to me, I was not trying to trick you, please forgive me." You may wish to also carry a nametag, posterboard sign or sandwich board, depending on how well you pass. State three times clearly your biological and chromosomal make-up, but use clear language people are likely to understand. Don't say, "I have a medical condition and was assigned female at birth," that's deceitful rhetoric. A considerate and honest FTM would say, "I have a big, fat, huge VAGINA. Not a penis, A VAGINA." Be sure to yell this so that the whole club understands what you are - if someone may have been checking you out (again, your attire should safeguard against this), it is only right that they understand what you really are so that their feelings are not hurt further due to your deceit.

Thirdly, after repeated oral and written disclosure, if someone still shows interest, make sure you give them at least three more chances to say no. They may just be trying to be nice, and searching for the words to reject you fully, so give them time and patience as they try to do this. If, after this point, the potential lover persists with their interest, you may think that you are home free - but wait! To ensure your potential lover's trust and dignity, make sure they understand they don't actually have to touch you or look at you when you have sex. Let them know you are very grateful for having the privilege of touching them. Be sure to thank them several times for taking the time, trouble and social stigma to accept you as you are and deal with your weird, gross "details." Then, be sure to never call them again. Realize your issues are a lot to deal with, and it would be unfair to pursue a relationship and expect another to deal with said issues. The respectful thing to do is to disengage, again, out of consideration for your lover.

If these ethical steps are followed, overall, the cisgender population will be less hurt, betrayed and tricked by trannies.

183
Nice use of sarcasm and hyperbole, Auggie.

I said: "Whether it is legit for you simply not to care about causing this hurt (y'know, in light of all the oppression of trannies) is a separate issue." Did you read that part?

Let's say you are a Jewish person who can pass as White Christian and you live in a town where, due to prejudice/personal preference/whatever you want to call it, the vast majority of people would not want to sleep with a Jewish person. Are you ethically obligated to disclose that you are Jewish prior to sleeping with a Christian whom you have good reason to believe would not sleep with you if they knew you were Jewish? I'm inclined to say you are not.

I think there is a legit argument for a trans person to say that they are similarly not obligated to disclose, although religious/ethnic ties are not exactly the same thing as sex assignment, particularly when sexual ethics are involved. Disclosing is a form of respecting the other person, but also seems inescapably to be a form of affirming the prejudice against trans people. I got that.

However, whether you are obligated to disclose and whether you are using trickery by not disclosing are two different issues. I think we have all been having this discussion under the unspoken and incorrect assumption that trickery is always unethical.

There are trans people who are spouses and life partners of non trans people. My guess would be that in these cases, the trans spouse/partners are usually upfront about their transness from the start. This is probably part of how their "lover" (which is what D Savage was asked about here) came to trust them. The trans partner put their own somewhat legit feelings ("Why should I have to disclose just because non-trans people are so prejudiced against trans people? That's not fair!) second, and put the feelings of a potential life partner ("Ummm ... I'd kind of like to know if you were born male or female before we get it on") first. This is part of give-and-take, not a sell-out. You can take solace in the fact that the non-trans partners are probably now regularly putting the feelings of the trans partner before their own.

A one night stand you have no interest in building a relationship with? Well, that's a different story with different ethical ramifications. Play ball! And pack your mace.

Also, I am not saying that trickery is the GOAL of any trans person who sleeps with a non-trans person without disclosing, just that it can part of the process. Just like trickery is often part of the process of non-trans people sleeping together (or non-trans people who may trick trans people into sleeping with them). Non-trans people, as a whole, have no ethical high ground here.

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Kungfu. Thank you for the compliment.

You said: "Whether it is legit for you simply not to care about causing this hurt (y'know, in light of all the oppression of trannies) is a separate issue." Yes, I did read that part. I don't think it's accurate to say that trannies don't CARE about that hurt. I think it's safe to say that many think about it all the time. Whether or not we care to put ourselves in hurtful situations through disclosure over and over (and over and over) again is a different story. After a while, it is difficult to trust that anyone might have a positive reaction. So yes, I suppose then, yeah, we trannies care more about our own precious feelings. Sure.

You said: "You can take solace in the fact that the non-trans partners are probably now regularly putting the feelings of the trans partner before their own." Why the fuck would I take solace in the fact that because of normative standards in mainstream society, power dynamics between partners are totally fucked over in a trans/non-trans relationship? Who would want their partner to have to constantly put their feelings before theirs? Fuck a lot of that noise.

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"So yes, I suppose then, yeah, we trannies care more about our own precious feelings."

You keep framing this discussion as though I have made some sort of general negative character assessment of trans people that does not apply equally to non-trans people. I have not. I just think that most people, trans or otherwise, use some sort of misrepresentations (or lack of full disclosure) in order to get laid. Trans people happen to be in a position to use a rather unique form of deception.

I'm not saying the existence of trans-related anxiety is fair or rational, I'm saying that a trans person who wants to have a long-term relationship with non-trans person has to step up and roll the dice by disclosing not because this disclosure is likely to be met warmly, but rather because, as you admit "it is difficult to trust that anyone might have a positive reaction." If you are looking for a relationship (again, neither D Savage or I are talking about one-night stands here), you either have to have the "trust" you are referring to or move on to the next try.

"Who would want their partner to have to constantly put their feelings before theirs?"

I did not say "constantly." I said "regularly" and "give and take." This dynamic is just part of any successful relationship. Believe it or not, some of the "normative standards in mainstream society" are good standards. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water, Auggie.



186
I think post op trans gender should tell their partner about their op as soon as possible. If they are comfortable with it, great, otherwise they would feel lied to and cheated and its not going to end in a good way for anybody.
187
First, women have strong sex drives. Even women over forty, like me. So guys, kindly STFU about the womenfolk and how we can just take or leave sex.

Unlike straight men, we womenfolk don't have lots of sex-industry options (and going out for one-night stands has its own dangers if the guy is a psychopath). Strip clubs are geared for straight MEN. There are plenty of female pros but male pros for women are few and far between. Jeez.

And you know, plenty of women get rejected by men, are trapped in sexless marriages or lives, and are sexually frustrated and unlucky in love. IT'S JUST AS SOULKILLING--men aren't special snowflakes. But the advice we get from many folks is to date laterally (or "down"), improve ourselves, and stop wallowing in self-pity. I'd advise men in the same situation to take the same advice.

Likewise, I'd sure love to have a hot 25-year-old guy. I'm also realistic. Would that my fellow forty-plus male cohorts were as realistic. Jeez. When I was in my twenties, middle-aged guys hitting on me were the BANE of my existence. They took great offense that I turned them down; I was a stuck up bitch for wanting to be with guys my own age. (Now it's 55-year-old guys who diss women their age as unattractive but are shocked when women 15 to 20 years younger don't find them hot. Get over yourselves.)

And seriously--WRT Sodini and the Russian bride route? Those women are PEOPLE. They aren't frakking things you can buy. The problem with Sodini and misogynists like him is that they feel entitled to women--the do not regard us as human beings.

Finally--rape IS about power. Jeez. A rapist feels entitled to take what he wants. If he wants a 25-year-old hottie and coerces her or slips her a roofie, it's rape, and he does it because he feels that he has every right to her body. Yes, that's about power. FFS.
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Savage, you're the man. Just because you put penis in your mouth, doesn't mean you don't know what you're talking about. Why don't women who put penis in their mouths think the same way you do?
189
God is most certainly a Dan Savage fan.
190
Dan, YOU should take one for the team. Why don't you start letting any straight anti-social misogynist fuck you in whatever way pleases them just in case they may be serial killers.

I mean, you suggested the remedy, why don't you step up and show us you're a dude of your word and not the woman hating asshat you seem to be?
191
Dan, YOU should take one for the team. Why don't you start letting any straight anti-social misogynist fuck you in whatever way pleases them just in case they may be serial killers.

I mean, you suggested the remedy, why don't you step up and show us you're a dude of your word and not the woman hating asshat you seem to be?
192
Dan, YOU should take one for the team. Why don't you start letting any straight anti-social misogynist fuck you in whatever way pleases them just in case they may be serial killers.

I mean, you suggested the remedy, why don't you step up and show us you're a dude of your word and not the woman hating asshat you appear to be?